In today’s instalment of ‘Good News Monday’, we’re talking all about last week’s government announcement which detailed how lockdown is continuously easing, the latest with the reopening of gyms. Outdoor swimming pools were permitted to reopen to the public from Saturday, and outdoor gyms have been able to operate since 4 July. However, it has been announced that from the 25 July indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres will be able to safely open their doors once more. This means that millions of people across England will be able to get back into more sport and fitness activities.

Whilst it’s common knowledge that exercise is great for you physically (it reduces risks of heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease to name a few), many people don’t realise the positive effects it has on mental health and wellbeing. Those who regularly exercise tend to feel more energised in the day, sleep better at night, are less stressed, have better brain function and have a more positive outlook. Physically activity has huge positive impacts on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and more.

Research suggests that exercise is just as an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression as antidepressants. A recent study found that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour a day lowers the risk of major depression by a whopping 26%. This is because exercise releases endorphins and serotonin in your brain that make you feel good. Exercise is also great for reducing your stress levels as physical activity improves the body’s ability to use oxygen and improve blood blow, which both have an effect on the brain. It can also work by helping to distract you from your worries. The repetitive movements that you do when exercising encourages a focus on the body rather than the mind, and you can experience some of the same benefits of meditation while exercising.

Whilst you may not know where to start when it comes to implementing an exercise regime, gyms are a great place to begin. Most gyms have staff on hand to advise you and recommend the best form of exercise for you. You can also try out a number of classes and see which ones you prefer.

Will you be heading to the gym later this month? Let us know!

Don’t forget to check out last week’s Good News Monday HERE

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